Yesterday driving from Omaha to Norfolk through the most beautiful green fields of corn, soybeans and alfalfa, through small towns where time seems to have stood still I was very aware of the abundant food supply Americans depend on without even a thought about where it comes from.
Our liberal politicians rarely come from here. Biden and Harris are from the east and west coasts. Flyover states rarely get visits from anyone on the left. Trump changed that.
The people of rural America feel seen and heard in a way they haven’t experienced before. Trump’s lack of formal education works in his favor here. Not because rural American is stupid but because they must be educated differently. Biden and Harris don’t know squat about rural concerns. The Left decries the Electoral College and the two Senators for each state but without that structure this heartland wouldn’t have a voice at all. They will be heard.
In my experience Liberal values have come across here as out of touch with real life. Religious Christian practice has deep roots here – the landscape is dotted with Catholic, Lutheran and other Christian churches. Towns large and small were structured with church at the center. Trump’s supposed conversion allowed people to feel safe with him and know that they would be seen and heard. Though he’s a hollow shell part from the worship of others few knew him apart from his image of success. He was the perfect idiot for the far right to use to grab hold of the party. He did not disappoint.
The Trump Administration poured government money into rural and America. His Ag secretary told a crowd at a convention Dean was at that he always told Trump to have his checkbook out when he came to town and Trump did just that. Reinforcement is a powerful thing. But with Trump the door to the crazies opened wide up. Playing into the fears that liberals, empowered by Satan at worst and Coastal elites at best were set on changing life here, good solid caring people find themselves capable of believing utter bullshit and don’t even realize it.
An example of this is a story I heard yesterday about a situation at our local high school. I was told that a special bathroom was built there as a pet relief station for a kid who would only relieve himself like a dog. The government said he had to be accommodated. As someone who spent a bit of time in Special Education I was immediately suspicious. 🤷♀️
First off – ANY accommodations we need for our most difficult students in public schools require a whole lot of work to ask for and then obtain in a timely manner. Requesting a special bathroom is just not even on the list because the normal ADA requirements make our bathrooms accommodating to begin with. We have kids in wheel chairs and with walkers. We even have older kids in diapers because their bodies don’t work like normal.
Second – IF we had a student who was mentally ill to the extent that he thought he was a dog, a regular public school would likely not be the place for him. He would be in a very specialized behavioral school instead.
Third – Any professionals working with a student with this severe mental illness would not suggest building a specialized bathroom to accommodate his delusion. They would work their butts off to change his behavior and in the process clean up mess after mess. They would literally work the miraculous with great skill.
I was 100% sure that this was not true and couldn’t rest until I checked it out this story with a friend who has devoted her life to public education here. Of course it wasn’t true. The rumor came from out of state was embraced by a state legislator eager to discover such a tale and then shared with his colleagues. Believed by the masses, this nonsense required a Superintendent’s letter to the editor and the Senator to recant. Clearly, once this kind of thing gets out and is believed, a lot of people never get the real truth.
I’m aching for my home state and mad that the best of who these people are is now veiled by this version of the GOP. Lynne Cheney and Adam Kinzinger reflect what the party once was. I hope that there are others who will question everything they hear and in so doing ground themselves in their own wise minds. It has been my experience that neither side has all of the answers and in order to reach wisdom rigorous debate is essential. Believing nonsense and rigidly clinging to it on either side serves no one.